News on the go: Sept. 24, 2013

Carrie Blazina

Kenyan officials continued to maintain late Monday that the siege of a Nairobi shopping mall, in which an al-Qaida affiliated group was holding hostages, was in its final stages, though officials made similar claims Sunday. Officials said the evacuation of hostages was going very well and there are few, if any, hostages left at the mall. Sixty-two people have died since the initial attack on the mall Saturday; that number fell from previous estimates of 68 because some bodies had been counted twice, Kenyan officials said.

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Secretary of State John Kerry is set to meet his Iranian counterpart this week, and President Barack Obama’s administration is nearing talks with Iranian President Hasan Rouhani while both presidents are at the United Nations General Assembly in New York this week. A meeting between the two nations’ presidents would be the first in 30 years. Advisers said no meeting is scheduled for the two presidents, but a meeting could either be a turning point toward better relations or perceived as a premature endorsement of Iran’s nuclear program by the U.S.

Abercrombie & Fitch settled discrimination lawsuits Monday filed by Muslim former employees who say they were fired for wearing headscarves, and the company agreed to let its employees wear the scarves in the future. Hani Khan, 23, will receive $48,000 from the company after being fired in 2010 when the retailer decided the hijab violated its “look policy.” Halla Banafa will receive $23,000 after her job was terminated in 2008. The retailer said it also has established an appeals process for workers who believe they were denied religious accommodations.

Information is from the Associated Press

Carrie Blazina is the nation and world editor for the Daily Kent Stater.